17th Week in Ordinary Time
Ignatius of Loyola
1st Reading: Jer 14:17–22
This you will say to them: Let my eyes shed tears night and day without ceasing! For with a great wound has the virgin daughter of my people been wounded, a most grievous wound.
If I go into the country, I see those slain by the sword. If I enter the city I see the ravages of famine. For the prophet and the priest did not understand what was happening in the land.
Have you then rejected Judah forever? Do you abhor Zion? Why have you wounded us and left us with no hope of recovery?
We hoped for salvation but received nothing good; we waited for healing, but terror came!
Yahweh, we know our wickedness and that of our ances¬tors, and the times we have sinned against you.
For your name’s sake do not despise us; do not dishonor the throne of your glory. Remember us. Do not break your covenant with us!
Among the worthless idols of the nations, are there any who can bring rain, or make the skies send showers?
Only in you, Yahweh our God, do we hope, for it is you who do all this.
Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Jesus sent the crowds away and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the Kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. The enemy who sows them is the devil; the harvest is the end of time and the workers are the angels.
“Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown in the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.”
What have seeds, yeast, and salt have in common? The Lord used them as images. They disappear into the ground, or into the lump of dough, or into food, they are scattered and they lose themselves. But what use would it be if they stayed in the bag and never gave themselves away? The Lord used these images to speak to us about discipleship, about following him. What else do they have in common? They are all given to us. They pour themselves out for us, to be our food or to make our food a joy to eat. Not only the Lord but nature itself is prompting us to give ourselves away, to pour out our lives, to live for others.
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